X-Rotary (7): Mapping workplaces and residences

This is the seventh and last episode devoted to the Shanghai Rotary Club. This episode complements the previous one by mapping more systematically the workplace and residences of Shanghai Rotarians using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools (mostly ArcGis and QGis). The original data still come from the three successive rosters of members published in 1930, 1940 and 1948.

Worplace and residence

The first map shows the general distribution of workplaces (offices) and residences of Shanghai Rotarians (all nationalities, classes and occupations included) between 1930 and 1948.

This map reveals the striking concentration of workplaces in the Central district of the International Settlement (grey dots). By contrast, places of residences (green dots) are scattered throughout the two foreign settlements, with a marked preference for the Western section of the French Concession (which roughly coincided with the “residential zone” that the French municipal council drew in 1938). Overall, there was a clear separation between workplaces in the Central District of the International Settlement and places of residence in the French Concession. No Rotarians worked or resided in the Chinese-administered districts.

Addresses by nationality

The second map displays the addresses of Shanghai Rotarians according to their nationality over the same period (irrespective of the the type of address – either office or residence).

This map confirms that Chinese Rotarians (red dots) tended to work or live in the International Settlement, especially in the Central and Western districts. American members (blue dots) also favored the Central district of the International Settlement, but they were also attracted by the Western section of the French Concession. By contrast, there were comparatively few British who resided or worked in the French Concession. In fact, most of British Rotarians elected the Western district of the International Settlement as their favorite place of work or residence (yellow dots).

Residence and occupation

The third map locates the residence of Shanghai Rotarians according to their social-professional occupations. For convenience and consistency reasons, I have classified the occupations into three main categories: middle managers (red dots), professionals and senior executives (yellow dots), trade and business owners (dark green dots) – and less significantly, retired members (light green dots).

The map shows that all classes of occupations selected the Western sections of the foreign settlements as their favorite place of residence, with minor variations from one class to the other. While middle managers preferred to live in the residential zone of the French Concession, trade and business owners were more attracted by the Western district of the International Settlement. By contrast, the residences of professional and senior executives were relatively scattered across the foreign settlements.

Workplace and sector of activity

The last set of three maps aims to visualize the workplace of Shanghai Rotarians according to their class of service (or sector of activity). For classifying activities, I relied on a simplified version of the official classification of services that the Rotary International established in the 1920s.

The first map shows the distribution of workplace, without distinguishing the type of activity.

On the second map, I have grouped the activities that were both concentrated and centralized in the Central district of the International Settlement (financial and communication services; paper, publishing and printing industry; building materials and construction industry; chemical industry; retail and wholesale trade).

The third map visualizes the diverse activities that detracted from this dual pattern of concentration and centralization, with workplaces scattered throughout the city (arts and entertainments; associations; education, religion and charity; government service; medical and health services; machinery; transportation, shipping and storage; textile industry; food and tobacco industry).

Cécile Armand

Ancienne élève de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon (2006), agrégée d'histoire (2009), docteure en histoire (2017), postdoctorante à Stanford University (2017-8) puis Aix-Marseille Université dans le cadre du projet ERC “Elites, Networks and Power in modern China” (2018-). Ma thèse soutenue à l’ENS Lyon en juin 2017 proposait une histoire spatiale de la publicité à Shanghai (1905-1949). Mon nouveau projet porte sur l’invention du consommateur et de l’expertise sur le marché en Chine républicaine. Au-delà, mes centres d'intérêt couvrent l'histoire urbaine, spatiale et sociale, les outils et méthodes numériques en sciences sociales, l'historiographie et l'épistémologie en général.

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Cécile Armand

Ancienne élève de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon (2006), agrégée d'histoire (2009), docteure en histoire (2017), postdoctorante à Stanford University (2017-8) puis Aix-Marseille Université dans le cadre du projet ERC “Elites, Networks and Power in modern China” (2018-). Ma thèse soutenue à l’ENS Lyon en juin 2017 proposait une histoire spatiale de la publicité à Shanghai (1905-1949). Mon nouveau projet porte sur l’invention du consommateur et de l’expertise sur le marché en Chine républicaine. Au-delà, mes centres d'intérêt couvrent l'histoire urbaine, spatiale et sociale, les outils et méthodes numériques en sciences sociales, l'historiographie et l'épistémologie en général.

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